Canada was not the first nation to legalize cannabis for adult use. This title will always go to Uruguay, which legalized cannabis about half a decade earlier than Canada.
Despite this, Canada was the first nation of the G-7 legalize cannabis for adult use, and remains the only G-7 country to do so.
Canada’s legalization model is much more open compared to Uruguay, as anyone of legal age can make a purchase from the start of legalization in Canada in 2018.
The U.S. country has instantly become a unique public policy experiment, and cannabis lawmakers and enthusiasts around the world have watched closely how things have unfolded.
One thing cannabis opponents said would happen is an increase in problems on public roads, predicting an inevitable kind of “stoning driver epidemic.”
A new study clarifies why this claim is proving to be false as time goes on.
There is no increase in traffic injuries
A study from the University of British Columbia, led by Associate Professor Dr. Russ Callaghan, recently explored traffic accident data in Canada.
The aim of the study was to see if traffic injuries increased after Canada legalized cannabis for adult use, which, as mentioned above, was a concern expressed by opponents of cannabis.
“It simply came to our notice then Ontario and Alberta Data from the emergency department from April 1, 2015 to December 31, 2019. The team found that immediately after the legalization of cannabis, there was no evidence of significant changes in visits to the cannabis department. “Traffic injury emergencies among all drivers or young drivers,” the researchers said. Press release announcing the results of the study.
“Implementing cannabis legalization has raised a common concern that such legislation could increase traffic-related harm, especially among young people,” Dr. Callaghan said in a press release. “Our results, however, show no evidence that legalization is associated with significant changes in emergency department traffic injury presentations.”
Never drive under the influence
It is always worth noting that no one should ever drive under the influence of cannabis or any other intoxicating substance.
It is an issue that everyone should always take very seriously. Public roads must be safe so that no one is injured or, worse, killed.
In addition, it is important for people, especially policymakers, to understand that having cannabinoids in their system does not automatically equate to intoxication.
Motor vehicle policies should be based on science to help ensure that truly intoxicated drivers are identified and that non-intoxicated drivers are not penalized.